Illustration of Sarah-Kate Lynch wearing boots

Sarah-Kate ponders the nature of nightmares and finding her dream shoes

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1 January 1970

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Do our dreams mean anything? Sarah-Kate finds the upside to interpreting her nightmares and why she’ll never regret buying her dream shoes.

I think last year was, amongst other things, the year of crazy dreams.

Not the unfulfilled ones – they pretty much came with the territory – but the “I married a Swedish prince and had reindeer babies” dreams.

Apparently it is completely normal to have disturbing night-time imaginings during periods of trauma – medical experts believe it could even be a way to work out the stress or preoccupations of the day.

But does being chased by a giant orange ball across a field of tiny dancing Anna Wintours do that, I wonder?

Not that I have ever dreamed that. Neither have I dreamed of Swedish princes. In fact, the crazy dreams I know about all belong to other people. Mine are not crazy at all, and a psychoanalyst would take four seconds to interpret them.

Generally, I am on my way to work and the bus breaks down, the train goes the wrong way, my hitchhiking doesn’t work, it rains, I miss the ferry and then I wake up and think: “Goodness, I have a lot of work to do today – how am I ever going to get through it?”

Freud: “Ms Lynch, you have a lot of work to do today. How are you ever going to get through it?”

Me: “Freud, I don’t think I can afford you.”

My own theory is that because I use my imagination all day long making things up (with a few facts sprinkled about for good measure), my brain is done by the time I go to bed so puts very little effort into my night life.

My most recent nightmare involved only being able to find one of my boots. I mean really! Why bother? Not being able to find one of your boots is so pedestrian. It actually happens in real life. All the time. So not special.

Although, the boots actually are. I created quite a scandal when I bought them almost 10 years ago because I mentioned in my book, Screw You Dolores, how much they cost. Which was a lot. They are Chanel, after all. And even though I got them at 30% off, the remaining 70% was still somewhat eye-watering.

Freud: “And you don’t want to pay my bill?”

Me: “The first time I wore those boots I went to an all-Madonna disco and danced till 4am. Could I do that on you?”

Freud: “Get out of my office.”

“The upside of a nightmare is waking and realising that real life isn’t as bad as you’ve been lying there believing.

But, thanks to my clown-sized feet, I am actually not a shoe person. I had been searching for the right pair of boots for four years when I happened upon those Chanel babies. I was initially against them on moral grounds because I’d seen them on Kourtney Kardashian, and am against the Kardashians, so had to overcome that hurdle by admitting to myself that I’m obviously not that against them.

Freud: “Come back in my office, please.”

Anyway, the boots were an investment and one that has paid off extremely well. They’re still the only boots I have, other than a battered pair of cowboy numbers that are more than twice their age.

So, to dream that I could not find one was actually more stressful than you might originally have imagined. But the upside of a nightmare is waking and realising that real life isn’t as bad as you’ve been lying there believing.

Perhaps, after all, that is the purpose of them: you have to feel pretty good starting the day upon realising you haven’t accidentally murdered the handsome man you saw for three seconds yesterday at the gas station (another dream I haven’t personally had, by the way).

Freud: “Did you find the other boot?”

Me: “Safe and sound and they’ll do me another 10 winters.”

Freud: “You really are too cheap for psychoanalysis.”

Me: “Why, thank you.”

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